UK ELECTION: Britons have dealt Prime Minister Theresa May a devastating blow in a snap general election
British voters have dealt Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May a devastating blow in a snap general election, wiping out her parliamentary majority and throwing the country into political turmoil.
May had called an early election in hopes of getting an increased majority that could have strengthened her position before going into two years of intense negotiations with the European Union about Britain’s departure from the bloc.
Instead the prime minister saw her majority evaporate completely in the election held on Thursday. The Conservatives won 318 seats in the 650-member House of Commons followed by the main opposition Labour Party which clinched 261 seats. May’s party is short of the 326 it needed for an outright majority and fairly down from the 330 seats it had before the election.
May vows to form coalition government
May has vowed to form a government in coalition with the Unionist Party that will provide certainty.
“I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen, and I will now form a government – a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country,” she said.
“This Government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union,” she stated.
“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years, and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.”
“This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country… Now let’s get to work,” she stated.
Sturgeon signals delay in independence vote
Nicola Sturgeon, the current First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) signaled a delay in her plans for a second Scottish independence referendum.
“Undoubtedly the issue of an independence referendum was a factor in this election result, but I think there were other factors in this election result as well,” she said.
“The prime minister has lost all authority and credibility,” she stated.
Sturgeon made a formal request for a second independence referendum back in May, but Prime Minister May said that “now is not the time” for a second “divisive” referendum.
The last time Scots voted on independence was in 2014, when 55.30 percent voted to stay while 44.70 percent voted to leave.
May trying to form coalition of chaos: Farron
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of attempting to form her own coalition of chaos, slamming her for reaching out to the right.
He said the PM should resign, adding that she had gambled Britain’s future based on her arrogance and vanity. He insisted that there will be no deal with May’s Conservatives.
He added that the British people has rejected the prime minister’s extreme version of Brexit.
It is inconceivable for Brexit negotiations to begin in two weeks. They should be delayed.
“It is simply inconceivable that the prime minister can begin the Brexit negotiations in just two weeks’ time. She should consider her future – and then, for once, she should consider the future of our country,” he said.
Farron is up first after the Liberal Democrats only managed to secure 12 seats, up from eight in 2015.
European Commission chief: Don’t delay Brexit talks
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called on the UK not to delay the start of Brexit negotiations.
“As far as the commission is concerned we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at half past nine,” Juncker told reporters in Prague, the Czech Republic.
“So we are waiting for visitors coming from London. I hope that we will not experience a further delay in the conclusion of these negotiations,” he added.
The former Luxembourg prime minister said he hoped the British election result would have “no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for.”
UK vote reflects popular discontent over May’s strategy
- German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says that the UK vote reflected popular discontent over May’s hard Brexit strategy, which he said should be reconsidered.
- The leader of the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Paul Nuttall said on Friday he would resign after the party failed to win any lawmakers in the British parliament and saw its vote share fall dramatically.
- May says she believes she can form a government and will go to Buckingham Palace at 11:30 GMT to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to do so.
- Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party is considering supporting May’s Conservatives in parliament after she failed to win a majority in a national election.
- May’s Conservatives are in talks with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party after failing to win a majority.
- Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says his party has won the election after seeing an increase in seats and vote share, adding the party is ready to lead a minority government.
- Corbyn says talks on Britain’s exit from the European Union must go ahead after PM May failed to win a majority in parliament.May has signaled she will use her right as incumbent to make the first attempt to form a government, but it is unclear whether she will have the necessary support to do so.
- The Labour Party will put itself forward to lead a minority government after May’s Conservatives failed to win a majority, according to the party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell.
- The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg says May does not plan to resign after losing her parliamentary majority.
- French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says that the British election result was a surprise but did not change the country’s decision to leave the European Union.
- Scotland’s bid for a second independence referendum was dealt a blow after the nationalist Scottish National Party lost 21 of its 56 seats to parties that want to keep the United Kingdom united.
- May faces pressure to resign after losing her parliamentary majority on Friday.
- Citigroup said May was likely to resign after she failed to win a majority in the election. “A period of political uncertainty lies ahead,” Citi said in a research note.
- May’s Conservatives have come first in Britain’s general election but lost their overall majority in parliament, near-complete results showed on Friday.
- Former Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond, the ex-first minister, lost his parliamentary seat on Friday to a member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives, adding to night of setbacks for his party.
- The pound fell sharply on Friday after Theresa May’s Conservative Party appeared set to fall short of an expected majority in the general election.
- The deputy leader of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s pro-independence party lost his seat in Thursday’s election, in what is projected to be a disappointing night for Scotland’s nationalists.
- Exit polls and partial official results show May’s decision to call an early election in a bid to strengthen her grip on power appeared early Friday to have spectacularly backfired.
- British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says Prime Minister Theresa May should resign and make way for a new government.
- British ex-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has lost his seat in Parliament, the biggest figure to fall so far in Britain’s surprising election.
- Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage says the anti-EU party has a big role to play in politics if the Conservatives fail to get a strong majority ahead of Brexit talks.
- Results about the other 20-plus seats that have been declared showed that all stayed with the parties that held them before the election.
- Labour, the main opposition party, took Rutherglen and Hamilton West from the pro-independence SNP.More than three hours after polls closed in Britain’s election, the first seat has changed hands, with Labour winning a constituency from the Scottish National Party.An exit poll suggests Labour is on course for a stronger-than-expected result, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives could lose their majority in Parliament.That result would be a shock, overturning a big Conservative lead at the start of the campaign..
- Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that, “Whatever the final result, we have already changed the face of British politics.”
- An electoral officer says Labour had won the seat of Newcastle Central just before 11 p.m. (2200 GMT) Thursday, less than an hour after polls closed.
- The northern English city of Newcastle becomes the first to declare a result in Britain’s general election.
- An exit poll forecasts the SNP will get 34 of Scotland’s 59 seats, down from the 56 the pro-independence party won in the 2015 election. The pollsters caution that there is a lot of uncertainty around the forecast.
- The exit poll says the Scottish National Party could lose almost half its seats in Parliament.
- A former communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron says the exit poll result will rock the Conservative Party.
- Senior Labour Party adviser Emily Thornberry says that if the election exit poll is correct, then Prime Minister Theresa May should consider resigning.
- Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire says it is “too early to tell” if the exit poll showing the Conservative Party may not get a majority in Parliament will be accurate.
- The pound falls sharply after exit polls for Britain’s election forecast that the Conservatives would not get a majority of the seats in the House of Commons.
- If confirmed, the result will be a disaster for May, who called a snap election in the hope of increasing her majority.
- The Conservatives will get 314 seats and the Labour Party 266, the survey predicts. It projects 34 for the Scottish National Party and 14 for the Liberal Democrats.
- An exit poll projects that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party will win the biggest share of seats in Britain’s election, but could fall short of a majority in Parliament.
- Polling stations across Britain close at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) and ballots are being counted, with results due early Friday.
UK voting amid security concerns
- The Metropolitan Police says the incident was not related to terrorism.
- Police briefly closes off an area of London near Charing Cross station after a suspicious package was found.
- Voters express concerns over security situation as they cast ballots just days after three terrorists killed eight people in the heart of London.
- Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (0600 GMT to 2100 GMT) Thursday as voters choose 650 lawmakers for the House of Commons.